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Dana: Learning outside of a classroom

Happy Monday Y’all!

My friend texted me today, “This may be the best week of our lives, Dana. Have a good day!” How could you not have a good day after that start? So here’s to a life-changing week.

Well, to be honest, my life already changed this weekend. February is Black History Month, and here at Linfield, an opportunity to celebrate that, we had MLK day. It was a service day for the local community. I immediately signed up when I found out I was able to visit a local senior/assisted living home.  There is so much wisdom in age, and I really value and cherish that. Saturday morning I woke up bright and early to SUNSHINE! I was happy to be up if the sun decided to wake up with me. Other Linfield students all joined in the gym to sign in and gather before either jumping in a van and going to Vineyard Heights Assisted Living Home or staying on campus where young children came and played and learned. Ten students joined me to Vineyard Heights, and for the first hour we played Bingo! It was such a blast, and the best part was the 87 year old man I decided to sit by.

His name is Ted, and first round, five minutes in, “BINGO!!!!!!!!!” The outburst came from Ted, who was ecstatic. Unable to walk, from past strokes, he happily electronically wheeled himself over to the prize table and returned with a large box of Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups. For the remaining 8 rounds, Ted won 5 TIMES! Five times. It was so fun, and he was so happy and excited. Next, we were set up to help the residents of the Assisted Living home write their memoirs. In reality it provided an environment where we, as college students, could ask personal questions about their lives.  Ted was very good at talking and listening. He shared a lot, and his stories were special to hear. The story that resonated most with me is when he started speaking about his health. Ted has dealt with health issues for a long time, starting with a heart attack, two strokes and multiple cases of cancer (I am unclear on the type of cancer). After his third round of cancer, he told the doctors, ‘No.’ He did not want more treatment that didn’t seem to work. Ted wanted to cure his body on his own. He then began to eat Raw (This link does not directly describe what Ted did or believes). I am very passionate about nutrition and as a student intending to study it for a living, I was fascinated in his story. It will not be a story I will forget. I have since purchased Ted’s book, not to convince myself to eat raw, but more as a student of the Nutrition field, I feel it is in my interest to learn different sides than to just what we are told by the books, or television.

And why am I sharing this story on the Linfield Blog? This opportunity for me to learn was provided through Linfield. The classroom can provide the facts and some discussion, but I learned immense amount of information on a Saturday morning at Vineyard Heights.

In addition, I made another friend, named Ruth, who will be calling me to confirm my attendance to her 99TH BIRTHDAY coming up in March!! I cannot believe the wisdom I received from her. This wisdom may be just as important as the traditional information taught in school.

Thank you Linfield’s Multicultural Programs, Community Engagement and Service, Black Student Union and the Unity Team.

This Saturday can be summed up by Dr. King’s words, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What Are You Doing For Others?”

I encourage you to take advantage of any service projects or days happening in your community or at Linfield when you arrive here.  While you are benefiting the community, you are inevitably benefiting yourself.


I better get back to work now, after all that passionate rambling. :)

Enjoy today!